This week I am trying a new format: a discussion thread instead of the usual one-way ticket.
I would love your participation. Do leave a comment/reply/response!
The newsletter is both a broadcast and a conversational medium and I would much rather have conversations here than on social media. Click the ‘leave a comment’ button below (and if you’re reading this essay as an email, there’s an additional ‘see the discussion’ button at the bottom) to join the discussion.
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I am raring to hear your thoughts on a question that’s been bugging me:
Is money reality media? If so, how?
The backstory: the metaverse has two technological arms: XR and Crypto. That XR is reality media is a given (it’s in the name) but is Crypto also reality media or an enabling technology? The answer to that question depends on whether you think money is a reality medium. I think it is.
Money’s capacity to ‘buy the world’ has gone from a few luxuries to billions of objects. Money is also a measure of time - we can now be paid by the second if we so desire. Everything, literally everything can be monetized, from cells in our body to carbon in the atmosphere. Isn’t that the hallmark of a reality medium? From the interwebs:
What do you think? More generally:
What is money (according to you)?
The relationship between money technologies and text technologies fascinates me. ‘Print on paper’ created new venues for both: cash for money and printed words for text. Incidentally, both movable type (i.e., printed text) and cash arose in China. Is that a coincidence or is there a deeper connection? I’ll park that question for the future. The oldest known printed book is the Diamond Sutra (The Vajracchedikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra - an Indian Mahayana Buddhist text that became popular in Chinese Buddhism). Like many other treasures, it’s now in the British Museum.
No one is sure who Wang Jie was or why he had The Diamond Sutra printed. But we do know that on this day in 868 A.D.—or the 13th of the 4th moon of the 9th year of Xiantong in Jie’s time—he commissioned a block printer to create a 17-and-a-half-foot-long scroll of the sacred Buddhist text, including an inscription on the lower right hand side reading, “Reverently made for universal free distribution by Wang Jie on behalf of his two parents.”
And one final link before I hand it over to you:
Bored Apes, BuzzFeed and the Battle for the Future of the Internet
Start an online argument: leave your thoughts and comments below👇🏾
The most perplexing thing about money for me is the psychology of spending. I find my humble immigrant roots getting the best of me when I spend an embarrassing amount of time in the grocery aisle comparing prices. I always thought more money = more freedom. But I have to actively work not to compare prices to save $0.40. I've gotten better over the last few years but it's not without work. Turns out more money = more problems (jk... but not really). I haven't approached the world of crypto because the volatility would give me a heart attack. But sometimes I question my lack of trust, because I know that money is mostly electronic data anyway. Such a fun topic to think about!